Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will issue a regulation requiring agricultural commodities to meet a national standard (SNI) for agricultural commodities to prevent entry of low-quality imported products into the country, an Agriculture Ministry official said here on Tuesday.
The director general of agricultural product marketing and processing, Djoko Said Damardjati, said many low-quality imported agricultural products had so far been sold in the country at a low price thus damaging the price of domestic produce.
"Our country has so far been like a waste dump. Low-quality or even reject imported products have entered the country freely," he said.
The situation was like that because no rule had been made to require compliance with standards for the products, he said.
He said the SNI meanwhile was already being applied to imported industrial products.
Djoko said the application of the SNI to imported agricultural products would be done in stages starting with garlic this year whose import reached 90 percent.
"With the application of SNI, the quality of imported products sold in the country will be good while its price will also be higher," he said.
He said other products to be affected by the SNI regulation next year would be cocoa and apples.
To meet the implementation of the SNI he hoped farmers in the country would strive to improve the quality of their produce so that they could compete in the market.
He said the SNI regulation would also be applied to domestic produce. Therefore, he called on farmers to start implementing good agriculture practices to improve the quality of their produce.